cloth, 171 pp., $45.00
By the seventeenth century, the city of Hyderabad, India, became known for its wealth, beauty, and scholarship. Its world prominence was based on gold and diamond mines, as well as on agricultural riches. Bazaars were filled with exotic scents and oils. Husain Ali Akbar studied historical documents, which allowed him to conclude that these gardens, inspired by Persian traditions, used scents in garden settings, to arouse erotic behavior. Fragrances were also appreciated for their medical properties and were recalled in poetry. The author describes the typical design of private and public gardens, plus the elements to be found within a complex. The academic work is richly illustrated with color and archival photographs plus maps. The text and extensive supplemental materials authenticate his research, bring alive a period of Indian garden history.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden